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Wednesday, 28 November 1973

Senator Rae asked the Minister representing the Minister for Education, upon notice:

(   1 ) What steps has the Minister taken to make sure that nonsystemic non-government schools know the final date for the submission of appeals against the categories announced on 6 August 1973.

(2)   When may schools expect to know the results of their appeals against categorisation and have the schools been told the anticipated date, as any changes in category will have a direct effect on 1974 fee schedules, for, in spite of the Minister's statement to the contrary, non-systemic schools have used per capita grants to reduce the level of fees.

(3)   What steps has the Minister taken to ensure that all nonsystemic schools have been given a clear definition of what should be included in Question 10.24 under durable teaching equipment as this is a question that has been variously interpreted.

(4)   Has it been left to each school to take the initiative in finding this out; if this is so, is it not an irresponsible policy since the school, on behalf of the Government, acts as the trustee for per capita grants to parents and their children.

Senator Douglas McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Minister for Education has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1)   A ministerial press release notifying the final date for submission of appeals (28 September) was issued on 7 September and an advertisement inserted in the main daily newspapers in each State between 1 1 and 1 3 September.

(2)   Letters notifying results of appeals were forwarded to all schools on 24 October except for 14 appeals still under consideration. These should be finalised soon and the schools advised of the outcome.

(3)   and (4) In the letter accompanying the questionnaire distributed to non-systemic schools, school principals were invited to contact the Committee secretariat by telephone if they had any queries regarding interpretation of the questionnaire. Where schools appealed against their classification on the grounds that they had misinterpreted certain questions and had supplied incorrect information, they were contacted by officers of the secretariat to ensure that the Committee's requirements had been clearly understood, except where a particular school 's appeal statement had provided detailed lists of items from which relevant information could be obtained.

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